Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball is a great snack for a holiday party. Serve the soft creamy, savory, and sweet cheeseball with crackers to share!
This is the perfect Appetizer to put out at the next party you are hosting. It’s similar to our classic Cheese Ball Recipe, but with even more flavor and texture from the dried cranberries and green onions.
CRANBERRY PECAN CHEESE BALL
Cheese Balls are a classic party dish. The ball of cheese makes the perfect creamy, rich recipe for dipping. It’s great to share and always delicious. Put it out on a party tray along with all your favorite crackers and watch how fast your guests eat it up.
The base recipe for cheese balls are made with simple ingredients like cream cheese and shredded cheese. Then from there you can add different kinds of mix-ins, flavors, and coating. For this recipe, we’ve added pecans, cranberries, garlic, and green onions for a mostly savory flavor. There are also sweeter versions that are crowd favorites. Try our Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheese Ball or Chocolate Oreo Cheese Ball for more of a dessert-like appetizer.
For those sweeter cheese balls, you can use Oreos and other cookies as the dippers, but with this Pecan Cranberry Cheese Ball you should use assorted crackers and other savory ones. The cheese ball would taste great with buttery club crackers, Ritz crackers, wheat crackers, or pretzel sticks.
KEY INGREDIENTS IN CRANBERRY PECAN CHEESE BALL
- Cream cheese: The cream cheese makes the perfect base for this appetizer. It’s soft enough to mix smoothly with the other ingredients and to use as a dip, but it still has enough structure to form into a ball and hold up throughout your party.
- White cheddar: The shredded cheese adds the perfect classic, cheesy flavor to the tangy cream cheese. Depending on your preference you can use mild or sharp cheddar cheese.
- Cranberries: Dried cranberries add beautiful red color to the cheese ball. They also add a little sweetness but are tart enough that their flavor isn’t too sugary against the other savory ingredients.
- Pecans: The chopped pecans are mixed into the filling and used as an outer coating for the cheese ball. They add a nice crunchy texture to the creamy dish.
TIPS FOR MAKING CRANBERRY PECAN CHEESE BALL
- Prep time: Make sure you give the cream cheese enough time to soften at room temperature so that it can easily blend with the other ingredients.
- Mix: Add the 8 ounces cream cheese, white cheddar cheese, cranberries, ½ cup pecans, green onion, and garlic powder to your stand mixer. Then turn the mixer to medium speed until the cheese mixture is smooth. Put the mixing bowl in the fridge for 1 hour to chill.
- Shape: Lay out a square of plastic wrap on the counter, and put the chilled mixture on top. Then gather the plastic wrap around it to form the mixture into a ball shape. Then add the remaining ½ cup of pecans to the large bowl. Roll the cream cheese ball in the nuts to finish.
- Refrigerate: Cover the finished cheese ball in plastic wrap. Then store it in the fridge for 4 hours before serving with your favorite crackers.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You can replace the white cheddar cheese in the recipe with another kind of cheese, or add in your favorite cheese variety along with the cheddar. Swiss cheese, pepper jack, mozzarella, blue cheese, and goat cheese would taste amazing.
Instead of making one big Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball, you can make multiple mini cheese balls. Use a cookie scoop to form the mixture, roll each of them in pecans, and refrigerate to finish. Then you can put the mini cheese balls out with dip-ins for everyone to take their own.
You can try using different kinds of nuts and fruit mix-ins. Chopped almonds, walnuts, or macadamia nuts would work well. For fruit, you can mix in raisins, dried figs, or dried apricots.
MORE CRANBERRY SNACKS
HOW TO STORE CRANBERRY PECAN CHEESE BALL
- Serve: Due to the cream cheese and other dairy products in this recipe, you don’t want to leave it at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
- Store: Cover the Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball in plastic wrap to keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freeze: Though cheese balls taste better fresh, if you have too much leftover you can keep it in the freezer. Wrap the cheese ball and seal it in a plastic bag. Then it can keep for up to 1 month.
- 8 oz cream cheese , softened
- 1 1/2 cups white cheddar cheese , shredded
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries , chopped
- 1/2 cup pecans , chopped
- 4 green onions , thinly sliced (green part only)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup pecans , finely chopped
- To a large stand mixer on low speed add the cream cheese, white cheddar cheese, cranberries, first ½ cup pecans, green onions and garlic powder until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
- Put mixture in the refrigerator for 1 hour to chill.
- Lay a large plastic wrap square on your counter and put the mixture on it, then gather the sides and bunch them up to help shape the mixture into a ball.
- Add the remaining ½ cup finely chopped pecans to a large bowl and roll the cheese ball into the chopped pecans then serve with crackers.
- Best if served after 4 hoursrefrigeration.